Dracula, The Original Narcissist
As interesting as it was, Dracula’s speech was no more than an opportunity to brag about his race and their superiority over other peoples. Dracula’s speech on page twenty served as a way for him to gloat about the ancestral history of the Szekelys. Dracula comes across as being very proud of his ancestors and sees their triumphs over other peoples as something that should be celebrated and honored. The whole speech was Dracula’s way of showing off his accomplishments to Harker, similar to how one may display a trophy in their house for the sole purpose of waiting for the opportunity for someone to ask them how they won it. This is especially evident in the way in which Dracula spoke of his people; a prime example of this is found on page twenty where Harker states “Whenever he spoke of his house he always said, “we,” and spoke almost in the plural, like a king speaking.”(Stoker 20). By associating Dracula’s mannerisms to that of a king, Harker is playing right into the fantasy that the Count is fabricating and feeding his starving ego. His ideas of superiority are further enforced by his usage of the words “proud”, “victorious”, and “glory” (Stoker 20–21). These words serve to further emphasize the importance that his people had on history.
Dracula wished to emphasize the importance of his people as well to explain to Harker in great detail why his people should be honored and revered. Dracula fills Harker’s need for information by giving him a fully detailed description of his lineage, however in doing so, he also intills a bit of uneasiness and fear in Harker. This subtle fear or desire to understand the misunderstood plays perfectly into the plotline of Victorian era literature, specifically that of Gothic Fiction. Dracula’s complete and utter disregard for the lives of other peoples is a prime example of how groups of people used violence and force to assert their dominance over other peoples assuring their superiority in society. Dracula’s superiority complex was one that was developed over many years of brutal carnage. This is evident in the way that he gloats over the killings of other people, whereas any sane person with this ancestry would speak with regret, however this may have also been reflective of the mentality during this era.
Although Dracula’s speech in its entirety gives both the reader and Harker an uneasy feeling, it is when Dracula states “Blood is too precious a thing in these days of dishonourable peace; and the glories of the great races are as a tale that is told.”(Stoker 22) that really solidifies the predicament that something really bad is bound to happen to Harker and the people of Transylvania. Rather than refer to his people by “race” or “ancestors” he places his importance on blood. This may be a case of dramatic irony as we know that the “blood” he is referring to may be alluding to him being a vampire, however Harker is yet to come to this realization. Overall, Dracula appeared to attempt to impress Harker in a way that he would gain his respect and be able to eventually gain his trust.